Opposition candidates in Russia are vying for the presidency. Vladimir Putin. In the parliamentary elections this weekend, it is hoped that despite a long crackdown, they can still reduce the dominance of United Russia.
The party’s majority in the 450-seat Duma will continue whatever happens over the weekend, but the movement of critics of the highest opposition group, the Kremlin, Alexei Navalny, Insists that benefits can be reaped.
“We don’t have crystal balls,” said Vladimir Ashurkov. Newsweek“But we will see if we can get 50 independent deputies in parliament. It will be a great achievement.”
Despite being jailed in February. Violation of parole during his 2014 sentence, he says, was politically motivated, and Navalny’s influence extends beyond the bars behind which he is imprisoned.
However, his now-dissolved Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) launched plans to persuade voters to rally around those who oppose a united Russia. When Apple and Google removed the Navalny app. Promoting so-called “smart voting”.
The app informed people in 225 districts of the country that the opposition candidate was more likely to defeat the United Russia rival, regardless of party.
Deleting the app is the latest in a series of shutdowns by authorities, followed by communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, which has cracked down on tech giants, which have already blocked 49 Navalny-linked websites.
On Saturday, Navalny’s allies said. Google At the request of the Watchdog, two Google documents containing lists of anti-Kremlin candidates were removed.
“I think this crackdown is a sign that the authorities are more frightened than ever,” Asherkov said. Newsweek. “People are more frustrated, living standards have been deteriorating over the past decade, and Putin and United Russia are at historic lows.”
In June, the FBK was described as an “extremist” organization. The most prominent curse from the Kremlin with the likes of Al Qaeda and others. Taliban, And opened its members to the possibility of prosecution.
This led to the departure of many important Navalny lieutenants from Russia, such as its chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, who is now trying to bring about change in exile.
The original network of branches was also dismantled and Navalny’s allies had to be adopted and decentralized, with its proxies in 11 time zones of the country drawn on a database of pro- and electronic devices.
“We still do what is possible, and of course, we will try to think of a new trick that we can do in the current situation,” Asherkov said.
Amid the excitement of returning to Russia after his treatment in Germany on charges of neoconservative poisoning in the Kremlin, the approval rating of the novel has dropped from 19% in June to 14%. Has gone
“It’s not clear what caused the fall,” said Ben Noble, co-author of the book, which was just released. Navalny, Putin’s enemy, Russia’s future.
“One possibility is that people have lost hope in Navalny and his vision for the future is now behind bars,” he said. Newsweek“Or maybe ‘people are more afraid to show their support because of their legal affiliation with an extremist organization.’
Noble, a lecturer in Russian politics at University College London (UCL), said: “Some opposition parties and personalities have tried to defend themselves by attacking the public and the forced novel.
“Some of his supporters have shifted their activities to the Communist Party,” or part of the approved opposition, which has “seen an increase in support during the election – which is very troubling for the Kremlin.”
It is a sign of the state of Russian politics that the most prominent protests against the stalemate may motivate voters to look to the parties of the past to look to the future.
Smart voting can take advantage of weaknesses in the vertical of power but with its purpose of dividing the vote, this approach prefers results on principles.
These are the misconceptions of Yabloko, whom the Social Liberal Party has dubbed the Russian word “apple”, who is fighting to get five percent of the vote to enter the Duma.
“There is a misconception among Western politicians that Alexei Navalny is a liberal politician, but this is not true and if you take a look at the list of people he supported in this election, you can see. That they are not liberals or democrats, “said Nikolai Ryabkov, chairman of Yabloko. Newsweek
In his view, the problem with smart voting is that it is not based on voters choosing a party based on policies, which can have dire consequences.
“If a lot of people vote for the communists, it will be a great signal to the authorities to implement more aggressive policies for the local population and for foreign countries.”
“As a democratic politician, I can’t imagine how it is possible for them to bring back Stalinism, Gilgit and oppression,” he said. “
Ryabkov, with 334 seats out of 450, does not consider United Russia to dominate the State Duma. Instead, he sees parliament as dominated by parties that can discuss domestic policy issues, such as taxes and spending, but in reality, support Putin’s policies.
“This is a professional union of officials and people who want to work for the benefit of the authorities, they have no ideology,” he said. That’s why, of the 14 parties competing this weekend, “13 of them support Putin’s policies and only one party, which is Yabloko, does not.”
The story that the novel provides, of a politician facing persecution, is understandable to the media and Western politicians who, in Ryabkov’s view, “do not really understand what is happening in Russian politics.” ۔ “
Yabloko had difficulty registering candidates, and some registrants were removed from the list by authorities.
Last month, Ryabkov traveled 60,000 kilometers along the campaign trail, visiting 25 regions, more than 120 cities and towns, and addressing thousands of people where he saw “a great demand for change.”
Voting began on Friday in a three-day process to reduce the number of ballots cast in the run-up to the by-elections.
Critics have suggested that for the first time since 1993, ballots could be rigged without observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
On Saturday, independent election monitoring NGO Golos recorded 2,130 possible voting violations at polling stations in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Novaya Gazeta Is informed.
Things could be even more difficult for the opposition if Putin and United Russia, as expected, claim they have a mandate when the ballot box closes on Sunday, but Ashurkov still has a chance to vote for a different future. There is a message of hope.
“The only permanent thing in history is that change is inevitable and it will happen in Russia,” he said. Newsweek.
“We will continue to organize resistance against this dictatorial government as a group that has emerged as a major opposition force.”
Graphic provided below. Statista Indicates President Vladimir Putin’s tenure in power in Russia.